Posted in Short Stories, Uncategorized

If Only We Had The Time To Help You

Are you feeling quite alright?
Would you like to tell me more?
I’d like to help you, if I can,
Just like I did before.

Except, the ‘help’ you gave was useless
You just gave me more work.
You sat and heard my problems out…
Well, you said you did, you jerk.

Look, I don’t see how to tell you
This workplace is insane
And you don’t care that it’s broken,
So, really, telling you’s inane.

You want to discuss this further
Have a meeting, talk it out.
But you’re flying off to Munich,
Oh, and once you’re back, you’re out.

Of course, my concerns are most important,
You’d like to give them proper time,
To think about the options
Without running overtime.

Is there no one that I can talk to?
Oh, yes, of course, they’re out.
On training sessions, workshops –
Well, maybe someone is about?

Underutilised, you say you are,
Well, that’s something we can fix.
Here, do more of all that printing,
Which any sane system would nix.

OK, sure, the job that you applied for,
And the one you daily do
Are nothing like each other,
But we’re sure the fault’s with you.

No, we take your thoughts, suggestions,
Very seriously, we swear.
It’s just that, as soon as you stop talking,
We lose them in mid-air.

Maybe we like to reinvent the wheel,
We love constantly hiring staff,
The revolving door’s not bad for us,
We enjoy all the extra faff.

Well, we’re sorry you don’t want to help,
By talking through your woes.
We tried to make the effort,
Active listening, heaven knows

We really value all our staff,
Without them we’d be lost,
We definitely respect them,
We’re sure they’re worth the cost.

Look. You asked me in five minutes,
To explain six years of Hell,
To people who don’t give a shit
About their personnel.

You couldn’t even find the time,
To sit and talk things through,
You want me to believe you’ll do the work
To improve the lives of ones ‘not you’?

Just go and reassure yourselves
That to work for you’s a joy,
An honour, and a pleasure,
For those in your employ.

Sure, it isn’t even slightly true,
But everywhere’s the same.
The standard’s slipped so deeply down
We can’t climb up again.

No, things are far from perfect,
But I’m sure things could be worse.
And I’ve used the remainder of my energy,
Trying to, with you, converse.

Posted in Short Stories, Uncategorized

Just Keep Going

I said I couldn’t keep going like this.
You gave me a hug,
And said not to be so down on myself.
That I had so much more to give.
Thank you, I guess.
You see, just for a moment there,
I was worried.

I was worried, you see,
That the emptiness inside me
Might be the worst it could get.
That I had finally reached my limits.
That my crumbling foundations and ruined walls
Marked the lowest I could sink.
That there could be no more.

I didn’t realise the digging had only just begun.

Posted in Short Stories, Uncategorized

Letter to Friends upon the Closing of Winter

My dear friend,

The nights are once more giving up their ground to the sun’s bright fire, and my mind races to meet the new-comer with undue speed. Summer is still so far away, and it will last for many months; why do I run to greet it so?

There never seems to be enough time to do all that I wish to at the moment, the hours compress together and then fly past me all at once. Perhaps I wish to do too much, perhaps I wish to somehow ‘catch up’ after the restfulness of winter? Now all at once my mind races freely, but my body cannot follow it yet. I have gathered moss and lichens in the cool comfort of the darkness, and their soft stillness has not yet lost its draw. I do not feel the eager spark of Life, calling me into bud yet, but the sunlight tricks my mind into thinking it should blossom regardless.

There never is enough time, and I never know how best to use what I have. Every choice feels like a sacrifice of all the others, and the pain bleeds out over the chosen task, until it is stained. Why must I be one thing at a time, never a curious blend of everything? But Everything is never Something, I suppose, and I think… I think I should like to become Something, in the end.

Perhaps that is the Harvest which my mind pushes for me to flower towards? The becoming of Something, instead of the safety of Everything?

I sit, looking out at the sunlight, and I think about how we always welcome the new beginnings, but we mourn the loss of endings. Why must endings be sad? I should like to find someone else who delights most in the finishing of stories. The opening chapter is only a question, and my head aches from the wonderings it demands of me. The closing page is an answer, and I feel complete at last. Why must I be asked to mourn it, when all at once I am filled?

Perhaps I shall never be filled, never be compete.

There is always a new book, a new year, a new life waiting for me. A new friend to make, a new place to travel. It is a grand adventure to be sure, but I am very small, just now, and very tired, and perhaps, just for a little while, I should like to be filled, and content to be so.

Posted in Short Stories, Uncategorized

Burnt Out

You are angry that I am not.
You take it for agreement, compliance, complacence.
My darling, I write this so that you will not understand.
Because, you see,
I was just as angry as you, once.

You are angry, that I am not.
But for you, this is new.
This anger has been freshly discovered,
The pain is hot, and searing in your hands.
My nerve endings were burnt away a long time ago.

You are angry, that I am not.
What a life you must have lived,
That you did not know this already.
Would that I had lived your life,
That this could strike me as it does you

You are angry, that I am not.
Do not misunderstand me.
I hope that your anger burns bright enough
That things at last may change.
That others need not share in your anger.

You are angry, that I am not
But once, when I was angry, you were not.
And alone, in the cold, without fuel,
My anger burnt itself out
And burnt me out, with it.

You are angry, that I am not.
But, darling, don’t you see?
I have lost myself, somewhere beyond the anger.
I am tired.
Once, I was angry, too.

Posted in Short Stories

Letter to my friends, whom I must protect from my own sharp edges

I do not know how to speak to you, sometimes. I know that my words will hurt you, but my silence will hurt you more. I know that you wish to know me, but you wish most to know the parts of me that shine and the grim polish of my serrated edges are not what you envisioned.

You signed up for my public self, and although you say you wish to discover my inner hollows, you flinched from the echoes of the chasms the first time you heard them, and I will not offer the location of the entrance up to you a second time. You will discover it of your own accord or not at all.

I do not know how to speak to you, sometimes. Our tongues are the same, but we speak different languages. You look for light and order, and I seek out the chaos and dance to the beat of dying hearts. The things which I cradle in my heart and soothe me into sleep keep you awake and screaming – how do we find common ground between us? Surely there must be some? We laugh too much and smile too frequently to be too different to touch, but I fear that our bonds must have been forged through a strange mishap, and I worry that seeking out the answer will break the links, not strengthen them.

I am sorry, my friend, for you are my greatest treasure, but I do not know how to treasure you as best you would like it. You are a festival day delight, and I am the dull contentment of wash days and daily duty. We are both important, but perhaps we were meant for different calendars?

I do not know how to speak to you, sometimes. Our pasts were as one, but our presents have drifted. Do you cling to me for mine own value? Or because you do not wish to lose yet one more thing? Are these two things so very different, in the end? Does it matter? Must everything in our lives have value to be valued? Do I take up space in your heart which might be better used? If you cannot wield the knife yourself, ought I to cut myself away from you, for your own good?

Oh, but my darling… The times when I know what to say! The golden, shining times when I speak and it brings you joy, when you laugh just as I had hoped that you would…

Those times, when it is not the brush of our fingertips, but the solid connection of our palms. When the words bounce between us, in some strange, joyful dance, with no drummer and only the high notes of the pipes…

You are the clear, sweet music of the Tower, and I am the deep echo of the cavern, but my darling, do not doubt how my halls resound to your voice.

I do not know how to tell you, all that you bring to me, and I do not know how to repay it.

But know that I treasure you, all the same.